body changes while pregnant

Postpartum Body and Things

First, I am so glad I was able to work out for basically the entirety of my pregnancy. I’m pretty sure keeping that up helped me with the labor process and it most definitely helped with the recovery process.

Second, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how hard the postpartum stuff would be. Those first few days were really hard physically and emotionally. I blame most of it on lack of sleep. Every one said to sleep when the baby slept. Which I tried to do but still, was really only getting sleep in hour increments the first few days we were home.

Something I wasn’t expecting was how hard regulating my body temperature would be. I just cannot get it right! I’d be freezing, then have hot flashes, then be cold again. Apparently this is something that’s normal. The hormones and drop in estrogen can effect it and I definitely was feeling it. I’m hoping it isn’t something that sticks around for a long time.

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Breast Feeding

Nursing wasn’t going well because of the tongue-tie/latch issues and that was so hard emotionally and physically for me. I wanted nothing more than breast feeding to go well and when it wasn’t I felt awful. I felt like I was somehow failing and I was definitely being too hard on myself. My mom tried to help and she said it was okay, that this stuff sometimes happens and she had a similar issue with me. That didn’t necessarily make me feel better about it but it helped me realize that the priority was feeding Logan. It just took a few days for me to come to terms with that.

The lactation consultant we saw gave some advice and said we needed to supplement with formula for a little while because Logan had lost too much weight since his birth (11%, and anything over 10% was worrisome). My heart was broken for so many reasons. But once again, I reminded myself the priority was getting him enough food. We started supplementing, the consultant got me a super-duper hospital grade breast pump and I started pumping. Once that all happened things got a lot easier! Logan was eating and we were getting a routine and a schedule down. Within one day of doing this he’d already gained 5 ounces and was out of the “danger zone.”

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Once we figured this stuff out, it was much easier!

As for me, once we got this routine down and I was pumping a lot and getting more and more supply, and more sleep, I felt much better. I was recovering quickly and could move around easier. We tried to go for daily walks, weather permitting, and getting outside helped. Each time we went for a walk I could tell I was healing more.

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It is kind of weird to not have a workout schedule. Definitely a mind-shift. Right now I am focusing on healing and taking care of Logan.

Weight

My postpartum body was a little foreign to me. It was weird to no longer be pregnant. It was weird to think that this cute little creature was actually inside me. Then there was the weird realization that my body was in this in-between stage. No longer pregnant, but not back to my “old” self either. It kind of felt like my stomach had just deflated like a balloon!

I did get on the scale a week after he was born. Mostly I was just curious. I’d heard that you can lose something crazy like 20 pounds once you give birth and I was curious to see what it would say.

For the last two or so months of the pregnancy I stopped looking at the scale when I went to the doctor. I just didn’t want to know what my weight was and honestly, it helped me a lot mentally. It wasn’t the priority and I didn’t need the pressure or the “feelings” surrounding weight gain so I just lived in denial for a few months. It was the best decision for me. I still counted my calories, worked out, ate when I was hungry and did my best. It worked.

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When I checked in at the hospital I weighed 190 pounds. Icky number for me mentally. When I got pregnant I was 157 pounds. 7 pounds over my goal weight. So I had gained 33 pounds during the pregnancy. I was a-okay with that amount honestly! I was worried I was in the 40+ pounds territory so I was actually pretty happy to see that it had stayed in the 30’s–which was what my doctor had recommended for weight gain.

One week postpartum I had lost 18 pounds. Crazy. It’s so weird to see a “loss” like that. Eventually I will get on track and try to lose the weight but right now it’s not my priority. Eventually I will get back to some kind of exercise and I’ll try to lose those 22 pounds.

I’m not counting my calories right now, just eating regular meals and good food. I will start counting in a few weeks. Right now I am just trying to get a handle on being a mom, pumping, feeding Logan and getting rest. I will say this, though, I have had hunger like I’ve NEVER experienced. Definitely not while pregnant! It’s crazy how hungry I’ve been breastfeeding!

Emotions

Like I said, the first few days were rough. Sleep deprivation did a number on my hormones and I felt like a complete mess! I do not believe I am suffering from PPD, I don’t feel depressed or have any of the symptoms. It definitely feels like hormonal fluctuations. There have been tears, that came out of nowhere. But overall it’s manageable. As long as I get enough sleep. I’ve noticed that if I skip taking a nap or two during the day I feel the emotional stuff way more than when I routinely nap a few times. Knowing the triggers was huge and I tried to get more sleep to avoid this.

Logan and I went on our first solo outing this week and I saw my therapist. He did so great! I was a little nervous venturing outside–and driving!–without Michael but it was good, everything went smoothly (and he did so well I was even able to stop at Target on the way home for a few things, which definitely gave my confidence a boost). My therapist does not think I’m suffering from Baby Blues or PPD either. She said what I described was an obvious case of sleep deprivation and crying is my body’s way of saying “you need sleep!” That was reassuring to hear.

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Despite the bumps in the road and the obvious learning curve, things are going much better and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m so deliriously happy about this baby. Even when he’s having a fussy moment it’s hard not to stare down at him and just think he’s too adorable for words. 🙂

Third Trimester – Part 2

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Birth Plan

Basically my birth plan is “give birth to a healthy baby and recover.” Poking around the internet I’ve seen some pretty…elaborate birth plans. It seems silly to me. Especially considering this is not really something we can plan out. It happens when it happens, how it happens and all of it is really out of my control.

Like I said in my previous post I hadn’t really thought about it much but the childbirth classes gave me some insight and I have been giving it some more thought now. For the entire pregnancy I’ve been all about the drugs. Go into labor = give me whatever I need. No judgment towards women that want to have a natural birth, it’s all a personal choice and there is no “right” way. Once I got to the third trimester and we started taking the childbirth classes, I started to think maybe I wanted to change my plan a little bit.

The class said that the hospital I’ll give birth in does “light” epidurals. Meaning it’s not constantly on and you should still be able to feel your lower body, it just takes the edge off while you can still feel the contractions and know when to push. That sounded pretty good to me.

My current plan: try and labor at home as long as I can. Use our TENS device, different positions, massage, walking, whatever keeps me somewhat comfortable. Once I get to the hospital I’d like to take advantage of the birthing tub that is available. I want some soothing music and low lighting in the delivery room. I’m REALLY hoping to be able to labor in the squatting position if possible (the delivery bed has a squat bar attached to it) and when the time is right, use whatever medications I might need. Basically, I want to give it a try, see how it goes, and decide on medications. Will probably end up getting an epidural, but still want to take the wait and see approach. Of course all this will change if I end up having back labor (which my mom had with me and after having back spasms last summer I do NOT want to experience that again!).

Week 32

I’ve started going to chiro once a week. It seems to help a lot with the hip/SI/low back/glute issues. I had a massage this week, too!

I think I can tell when baby boy is going through a growth spurt. Throughout the pregnancy my eating habits haven’t changed too much and I haven’t had insatiable hunger very often. Every once in awhile I go through a phase where I am suddenly famished. It lasts a few days and then I go back to normal. The other night I woke up at 3am with a growling stomach and struggled to go back to sleep because I was hungry.

Had a bit of a scare, but all is good.

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Symptoms this week: Just the SI issues. Peeing all the time. All the time.

Cravings: Cheesecake. 😀

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Week 33

SLOWING DOWN…I am so much slower at every single thing I do now. I walk slowly, things are a struggle. It’s getting harder to do things that should be easy–which is weird! I’m still working out but it’s a lot different. I used to swim 1.25 or 1.5 miles in 45 minutes, now I swim 1 mile in 50 minutes. I’ve had to turn the resistance way down on the elliptical. I’m still lifting weights but I’m doing only weight machines. With my stretchy ligaments and feeling off balance, I don’t think free weights are a good idea. I’ve also gone from 5 workouts a week to sometimes 4. Some scheduling things have gotten in the way of working out 5 days a week and in the past I would have rearranged my schedule to make it fit but now I’m more in the “it’s ok to take an extra rest day this week” mentality. I knew I’d slow down at some point. That time has apparently come!

As for baby? I feel like he’s trying to escape! Check out this video!

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Symptoms this week: Lots of pelvic pressure/pain/soreness. Feels like things are stretching and loosening. It kind of feels like a side-stitch when you run. Also having some groin discomfort, similar to a pulled muscle.

Cravings: Reese’s Pieces. Or peanut butter cup ice cream. Basically anything that is chocolate and peanut butter. The craving is intense! Reese’s Pieces used to be one of my trigger foods back in the day and haven’t eaten them in like 10 years…

Week 34

Hospital bag is about 90% packed. It has your typical things in there: clothes, underwear, nursing bra, nursing tank, toiletries. Also a sleep mask, ear plugs, a book of crossword puzzles (just in case), something to read, my glasses and contact lenses, breast pump, some massage lotion, hair ties, non-skid socks, chapstick, flip flops, and snacks. Also: Nursing PadsNipple Nursing CreamEarth Mama Bottom Spray. I also included my birth plan checklist, insurance info and legal documents from our attorney like Power of Attorney and Advance Directives.

I’ve got a few different baby outfits packed (newborn sized and one larger just in case) plus the little newborn mittens and a hat. I haven’t packed a going home outfit yet because I honestly don’t know what that should be. Something loose and comfortable, I imagine. What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Had my baby shower!

34weeks

Symptoms this week: I am soooo slow. Moving slow, it takes a long time to do everything now. Having some hip and low back stuff as well as groin pain. My guess is that pain is here to stay. Swimming feels fabulous and when I do the breast stroke it feels great on my body — but the next day? I feel SO sore. Like I ran a marathon sore.

Cravings: Still craving peanut butter/chocolate combo. Insane craving!

Week 35

Put this super sexy/glamorous mattress protector on our bed! Just in case my water breaks when I’m in bed.

Baby must be having another growing spurt because I am HUNGRY again. Several days in a row now I’ve been woken up early in the morning with a growling stomach. I’m eating the same amount and yet I’m hungrier earlier than usual.

After making it 8 months without getting sick, I started to feel like I was getting a bad head cold this week. 🙁 Doing the nasal rinse, drinking EmergenC and crossing my fingers it doesn’t get too bad. I think I managed to fend off getting a full-blown cold but the bone-tired exhaustion plagued me ALL week. It was seriously all I could do to get out of bed and go to work (and then try and stay awake!).

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Symptoms this week: I’m not sure if he’s dropped yet but several people have said it looks like he has. I’m peeing a lot more frequently. I’ve been feeling extra extra tired lately. Not much else.

Cravings: Still craving Reese’s Pieces like mad.

Week 36

Still working out but slowing down. I think I might be done lifting weights. I switched to weight machines instead of free weights awhile ago but I’m finding that when I do lift weights and do squats I am way more sore these days. My guess is that it’s ligaments loosening. So I’m pretty much down to swimming twice a week and doing the elliptical twice a week and that’s it for now! Which I am ok with. Reducing the frequency and intensity of my workouts feels right for my body right now.

I am getting looks at the gym when I go. Not in a negative way, just looks. People stare at my bump. I have gotten some comments–all positive. An older guy in the pool complimented me and said he was “very impressed” that I was swimming, said I looked close to my due date and wished me luck. It was sweet.

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Symptoms this week: Just really tired and feeling big! It’s hard to move around!

Cravings: I’ve been craving BBQ for awhile and we finally went and got some for Valentine’s Day!

 

Doctor Appointment

At 36 weeks we had our OB appointment (last one was a month ago) and the appointments are now going to be more frequent. We heard the heart beat and she did an ultrasound to check position. He’s face down and head down and very low in my pelvis. He was kicking during the ultrasound but we didn’t get a good look at his face because of his position, which was kind of a bummer! The doctor said he seemed to be very long, and just under 6 pounds rights now. Michael was a very long, thin baby when he was born so it sounds like this boy might take after his daddy!

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My heart rate was 110/72, everything else was checking out normally. She did a cervical check and I’m not really dilated much but I’m 50% effaced. She said she’d be surprised if we made it to my due date. I’m not sure that doctors can predict that exactly, but who knows! He may come early!

Previous Posts:   

Secret Keeper

Behind the Scenes

First Trimester

Let’s Talk About Weight

Second Trimester – Part 1

Old Wives’ Tales

It’s A….

Second Trimester – Part 2

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Drink This and Try Not To Puke

Second Trimester – Part 3

Hospital Tour

Babymoon

Babymoon Part 2 & A Birthday

Third Trimester – Part 1

A Trial Run

Maternity Photos

Baby Shower

The Weight Gain 

Hopes & Fears